Using layers in Lightroom has improved a lot in the past year. In Photoshop it’s a lot the same and in Capture One nothing ever changes. But there are layers and that’s good for you.
There are 3 levels of edits and the secret layer makes them all easier.
They will make you edit faster but if you use them the way layers should be used, they will also help you ensure to don’t edit your photo wrong. That combo gives you the secret layer.
No longer second-guess your edits.
The secret layer consists of two parts really. #1 is perspective for your edit. #2 is quickly adjusting it and applying a more informed perspective to your edit instantly. Al the basic level this works with individual presets like Silver or more complex masks like Elegance creates for you.
Digital edits are easy to overcook when you start adding layers. But layers are also the secret to getting more dimensional and creative edits. Here I used GoldChrome and simply dialed it back in this level 1 edit.
How far should you edit?
We’ll look at 3 levels of editing in the video and using those as a guide is really useful because you can decide how far to go in each segment of your project. I only go to level 3 on my best images, which can vary.
In the portrait example in today’s video, I took it all the way to an illustrative look, but it would also be a lighter effect or just some simple atmospheric actions like Alchemist.
The secret layer varies in each app.
But the concept is the same. Some apps like Lightroom are more advanced. They reward you directly for supplying things as a preset as I show with masks. So you want to use that method if you create your own presets.
Photoshop is very powerful and uses a more ould school-layer approach.
Capture One doe the same though with a little less power because of the lack of stacking. That said you can still build edits on those layers and then control them to use the secret layer.
I hope you find this as exciting as me and put it to work right away. Leave your questions or tips in the comments.
Luminar gets advertised as the easy editor. But most reviews are affiliate or even sponsored videos. We need smaller devs and competition, so I don’t want to ignore them. Today we’ll compare Lightroom Vs Luminar Neo and even bit of Capture One in a real world test.
I admit, comparing Lightroom vs Luminar Neo surprised me!
Both in that Luminar Neo does a lot of things, but also I expected more. I feels like Skylum has been focusing on fun features that advertise, rather than refining the app and making it pro tuned. With things like UNDO not even working as of March 2023 (v1.7) this app is not ready to be a photographers daily driver.
In general Luminar Neo gives a broad suite of editing tools for RAW files. It actually has more tools than Lightroom, even if some are a bit gimmicky, many are quite useful.
Luminar is trying to bridge the gap between photoshop and Lightroom. And to a point, it does that with fun add on’s, AI tools and some basic layer control. But it’s still nothing close when it comes to the layer based editing to Photoshop or even Affinity Photos. This like LR and C1 is is a RAW style editor first.
How well does Luminar Neo vs Lightroom Process your files.
Overall it’s honestly good. Masks are clean, selections are nice if a bit slow. AI seems to work more of less Ai-like.
BUT as I showed in the video and below, Luminar falls apart in more difficult shadow and highlight situations. Instead of giving a smooth roll-off in clipping, it bands. Something Lightroom used to suffer from, but these days is maybe even a bit ahead of Capture One.
Is it worth using Luminar Neo vs Capture One vs Lightroom?
Not exactly. Neo is a powerful tool but it’s just as expensive and Lightroom and Photoshop Combined. So while it might be easier to learn and get started (for sure it’s easier than Photoshop) it’s also far more limited, has lower quality Raw processing and it’s lacking a lot of basic pro grade features.
Skylum is treating Luminar more like a mobile app than a serious pro photography tool. It’s many tools are in disconnect with interface problems, lack on expandability and they try to sell extras and instead of fixing slow or buggy features.
While importing is fast, even basic tools like resetting a photo, cropping and exporting are slow and drag when compared to Lightroom and Capture One in general. But the results of the many tools do work well.
Is Luminar really the easy Photo Editor?
That’s how Luminar Neo vs Lightroom. is promoted. The easy, cheaper one click editor. In a sense it’s easy. The learning curve seems straight forward and it can do some things you would normally need Photoshop for.
On a learning scale of 1-10, I would rate Luminar a 4, Lightroom a 5, Capture one a 6 and Photoshop an 8 in it’s learning curve.
While this won’t replace Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop or Affinity for pros, you will get a lot of tools and if you’re looking for a new app to play with, Luminar Neo offers a lot in one package but it’s more expensive than both LR and PS, combined!.
That said the problems and inability to do simple things any pro app should do make things not so easy of you operate by those standards. Here’s looking at you UNDO, come on Skylum.
You can do a lot here from replacing skies (do very many of us do that) to great portrait edits. It’s just important to separate marketing from realty and then decide what you like best. Luminar Neo vs Lightroom.
A decent jack of all trades is Luminar Neo vs Lightroom
I hope with feedback like this, Skylum can raise the bar and make Luminar a real contender against Lightroom and Capture One. Because we need contenders.
I’m still rooting for it and will give the Skylum team a chance to listen and take action. I want to be clear in all of this. It’s a good app. But when comparing to top pro apps we can’t pull any punches and we have to compare apples to apples, dollars to dollars.
In the battle Lightroom vs Luminar Neo this year, Lightroom + Photoshop gives you more bang for less buck. But Neo has a lot of potential and I really hope that by 2024 the scales start tipping.
Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Will you use Luminar Neo, or stick with Lightroom / Capture One in 2023 — Gavin Seim
It took me years to learn that consistency, style, and editing speed are directly linked. Many new photographers think editing slower means a better edit. In general, the opposite is true!
1. Why Speed_Mods improve your photography style and speed.
I’ve shown you how editing mods create a better editing result and speed in Lightroom and Capture One. Today I will break down how they are made and how to use them better.
Like Speed-Masking in Lightroom, Speed_Mods are included in my preset packs and you can make your own. They let you take any recipe and make it your own but without wasting a second. So, lets not waste any seconds and jump right into todays video.
2. Your style starts with consistency!
I know firsthand that finding a style can take time and that you sometimes can’t seem to decide. Part of the issue is that we have SO MANY EDITING OPTIONS that we lose focus.
It’s not wrong to have various flavors in your photos. But your style can be defined not only by how you shoot, but also by the nuance of your edit. Most overthink this, so they are always searching. But your recipes combined with Speed_Mods will help you stay the course, and your style will shine through every time.
When you create or use presets in Lightroom, the goal is not to create the same photo as everyone else. Just like when you shot Portra 160, it did not mean your photos were meant to look like the rest of the world.
3. Recipes are like your Film, Mods are like your chemicals.
If you use Filmist and add Porta or Ekrar or Classic Negative, those looks are a base recipe that has been proven to work millions of times.
Buy using a recipe (like choosing a film) you create a aesthetic, but just like in the darkroom we could then shift shadows, tones and details by how we developed, not you can adjust that recipe to your liking.
Of course going straight to granular sliders is fine. But say I apply Silver 5 wet plate look like I did in the video and I want a more HDR feel. I can go and play with sliders of I can simply apply the HDR mod from mod-kit presets. The speed-Mod gives me a refined process based on testing and I am done in a moment.
Professional software is about being able to find your creative edge and your style. Just like for 20 years we’ve used Actions in Photoshop, the RAW editing apps made for pros will always have tools like presets and styles to let us create more and faster.
4. Photographers who know their own style!
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen people say. Don’t use presets, don’t buy presets, make your own style. It’s like saying, find a harder way and use that instead. Pros want all the tools at their command.
There’s nothing wrong with making your own presets and styles like I show you in this video how to plan your own Speed_mod presets. Just don’t put up walls to your creality.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours refining packs like Silver, Natural HDR and Filmist. (all of these have free packs) Why? Because once a work is built, it can be used again and again and I don’t have to waste those hours to maintain the creative style I use with those presets and a few mods.
Recipes and mods combined like this will elevate your editing speed and style, and I hope you’ll give it a try and tell me in the comments what you think.
Which is better for editing your photos in 2023, on the desktop or on mobile. Lightroom V Capture One. Today, we test both head-to-head and see who wins.
1. Lightroom V Capture One 2023: Which photo editing software is best?
In todays video for we compare Capture One and Lightroom for 2023. I use both all the time, and in making products like Silver 4, GoldChrome and Filmist film presets. So I’m always elbow-deep in the capabilities if these photo editors.
So who offers the most in 2023? Lightroom V Capture One? Watch the video to get right to it. I’ll add extra thoughts and tests below. In the video I’ll start with my conclusion to save you time. But stay for the rest and see what makes each one of these editors great.
Try these recipes out in Lightroom V Capture One by downloading my free Styles and Presets with Filmist, Natural HDR and Silver 5 sampler packs that I created.
Reminder. Both LR and C1 are still RAW editors.
Tools like Photoshop and Affinity Photo are layer-based pixel editors, they should not be directly compared. There are other RAW options like OneOne RAW and Lumimar Neo. reviews on those are coming soon. But today, we’ll focus on Lightroom vs Capture as they are the big dogs and what most photographer are using daily.
I’ll also include more images as examples below….
2. Lightroom vs Capture One: Is it better to choose a subscription or perpetual license in 2023?
Lightroom and all Adobe products have been subscription only for years. One of the big draws of Capture One has been the perpetual license. Capture One costs a lot more than Lightroom, but I’ve always felt owning software is better, and in general, subscription, models are not as good for us users.
This year, that’s no longer an advantage of Capture One vs Lightroom.
While you can still buy Capture One as a perpetual license, it does not include any feature updates, and Capture One has all but thrown perpetual users under the bus. In fact, it was a bit of a scandal how they handled it and we talked about that in this video here.
It’s likely that C1 will end all perpetual licenses soon. Even now, the value of their perpetual license is pretty low, so it’s not a deciding point in favor of Capture One Pro.
3. Lightroom V Capture One: Which offers better RAW image quality?
I’ve been using both for many years. Capture One claim to fame has always been that it has more controls and settings. Things like being able to select and manipulate any color range rather than simply having the six basic color sliders in Lightroom.
This is not a small question. Process quality matters, and not all RAW processing is equal. I have tested others that are badly lacking in highlight control and detail management. However, Lightroom and Capture One are both excellent image processors.
Do extra sliders make Capture One edits better than LR?
Not really. Capture One seemed to have more nuance on highlight recovery and control than Lightroom in the past. But in recent years, Lightroom has caught up and maybe even passed Capture One.
There are more nuances to the controls. in Capture One. More color channels. levels, and curves instead of just curves in Lightroom. However, I use every ounce of these to create advanced color profiles such as my Porta presets and the Classic Negative in my Filmist pack. More controls do not make always editing easier. In fact, it’s usually harder in Capture One to get a recipe perfect.
4. Capture One vs Lightroom 23 Noise, Worms, and Fuji Cameras.
I shoot a lot of Fuji cameras and others as well. Capture One has always been promoted as better for Fuji users due to the way it handles the X-trans sensor data and produces a less wormy effect in noise. I’ll show you in the video above.
I also made this video about Fuji worms to compare and found little difference. Lightroom handles Fuji files just fine. In fact in in the Lightroom V Capture One battle, I would say Lightroom has better noise reduction than Capture One. Really!
When Capture one looks better out of the gate, we can see that C1 is applying more noise reduction by default, making it look better than Lightroom at times. But as soon as you apply an equal NR to both, the results are super close. Also most people are trying to remove noise when they should be using it. Watch my video on how to handle noise here.
5. Lightroom vs Capture One 2023: Which software has the better feature stack?
Lightroom has more modules and features. This like the Lightroom print module actually is very useful for getting real-life photos made to its web module for galleries. You don’t get that in Capture One.
Capture One fans tout it’s improved tethering abilities and we don’t dig too much into that here since it’s not the feature most of the market needs. Both can tether well and if tethering is your key feature, you should try them both see what you like best.
In general in the Lightroom V Capture One battle, you get a more all-in-one package with Lightroom. But you may not need print or web modules and developing features are more or less the same except that in layers. Lightroom excels in it’s editing experience.
6. Using Layers in Lightroom V Capture One.
In the past Capture, One Pro had the big feature that was layers. Lightroom masks were limited, and C1 layers can use nearly all the sliders and features to develop a photo compared to a limited adjustment set in masks for Lightroom. Technically, that’s still true.
Realistically, Lightroom’s new Ai masking layer system changed everything. It’s far faster and more precise to refine almost any image type, improve a portrait, separate a background, or do anything else.
The 23 version of Lightroom will even separate eyes, faces, and other details with near spot-on accuracy. The best mask refinement you can get in Capture one 23 is a magic brush that feels like it’s from the last decade (because it is) and manual masking.
Don’t try to replace Photoshop/Affinity with Capture One or LR!
Those manual masks in Capture One are good and offer a few more tool options. Detailed pixel-level layer edits like I show you in my videos or that we create with action packs like Blackroom and Lumist will NOT be happening in C1 or in Lightroom.
Whether it’s Lightroom V Capture One, they are still Raw editors with “some” layer functions. For most, layers will be faster and more useful in Lightroom. But those who prefer an all-manual approach may still enjoy C1 layers.
6. The best mobile Photo editing, Lightroom vs Capture One in 2023.
Lightroom has much better web integration in that it can sync with the cloud, you can even select individual collections in Lightroom Classic that will sync to LR Cloud and visa versa, and it is also available on mobile.
One advantage Lightroom has is that, while the sync features are not always perfect, nearly all of the developed software is available in all locations. Even on your phone, you can edit a photo using presets, masks, and every detail, develop sliders, and then move to the desktop and have everything in place.
Capture One on the other hand, has an iOS only mobile app for iPad. It does not sync, does not have anywhere near the full feature set or nuanced control that the desktop version has, and does not sync between the two.
If you want mobile and online editing integration, Capture One is not even in the running. If you are mostly desktop, this may not matter, but once you try Lightroom’s mobile features, you might be pleasantly surprised at how useful it can be. In the mobile Lightroom V Capture One battle, LR wins big.
7. When to choose Capture One vs Lightroom?
Capture One will not make your photos better and has less features. The only reason to go Capture One is if you love how it renders or work in a space that everyone uses Capture One. If you need C1 don’t worry, it gives great results just like Lightroom.
For most it’s no contest this year. I’ve always been a tough critic of Adobe. It’s hard to deny that Lightroom in 2023 offers more bang for the buck. Capture One will edit your photo beautifully, and I still intend to keep supporting it and making style videos.
Lightroom V Capture One 23 Conclusion – No Real Contest!
Lightroom offers more for the money by far than Capture One. It has gone from falling behind to jumping a generation ahead with refined masking and AI tools for 2023, while Capture One’s new feature set includes no real AI.
Capture Ones big feature in 2023 was smart adjustments and they are not very smart. You may find them useful as they try to match the exposure and White balance between images and this could be great for batches since Lightroom’s AUTO develop develop settings are still pretty bad.
In practice however the new Capture One Smart Adjustments are not that impressive and offer very few options or tools versus Lightroom. Capture One 2023 has a few other new features and improvements, but it lacks anything truly unique or cutting-edge.
Lightroom V Capture One value? C1 should cost half of what it does!
Considering you can get Lightroom + Photoshop for far less than the cost of Capture One alone, and if you get Capture One, you will still need Photoshop for something similar for more advanced edits, and even basics like printing which Lightroom has built in and it works well.
If you’re on the fence about Lightroom V Capture One, then Lightroom is probably what you want, this year. Let’s hope Capture One starts listening instead of trying to squeeze their customers in 2024 and maybe they can bounce back and win the Lightroom V Capture One battle.
Let me know what you think in the comments, and we will see what the next year brings. Lightroom V Capture One is still a tight race despite the gains of LR in the past year but in this competitive market, it’s really no contest in bank for the buck.
Classic Neg and Classic Chrome are popular color profiles on Fuji cameras. It seems Fuji is the only camera maker who has managed to make its in-camera profiles iconic. That’s because it takes its camera profiles from Film. Can we do the same with C1 styles or Lightroom Film Presets?
Film presets are as useful as they are hard to make.
I’ve been making master preset packs since Lightroom launched. But the hardest to create are my Capture One and Lightroom film presets, Filmist. Presets like PowerFlow and Natural HDR and great. But film does something magical for digital.
I just finished Filmist V1.8 with new Gen. 2 versions of my Classic negative-like and Classic Chrom-like presets, as well as Ektar Gen2 (I made a post about that here) With nearly 5 years of development, Filmist has become a king of great film presets, and I’m super proud of it.
Overdriving sliders in an edit is a very common problem. More is not more in a great photo. That, I believe, is why people like these Fuji camera profiles—they are subtle.
It’s silly, but it hurts a little when my customers reject my recommendation to try Filmist as their next pack. I know they are missing out. I love film presets because when you shoot real film or edit with good film presets, it changes the way you create photos.
Things that were once boring become atmospheric and feel more real. It helps you gain perspective on every other process because film will always have an organic look.
I also use and love Fuji cameras, but I nearly always apply the looks with a preset and not a baked-in look because it gives more control and better results. Plus you can use it on any camera or video thanks to LUTS.
Filmist 1.8 brings better C1 and Lightroom Film Presets!
In today’s post, I’ll share a variety of photos processed with these Capture One and Lightroom Film presets. Everything comes from my newly updated V1.8 and nearly world-famous “like” versions of these recipes as presets for any camera.
1.8 also has the new Gen 2 of the Ektar 100 which is a really great film. I’ll write more about that in another post. All these looks come thanks to many test images from the long hours, so they are more accurate than ever. The updated version includes the Lightroom Presets, the Capture One Styles, and the video LUTS.
You can also download the Filmist sampler again for the 1.8 version. If you own FIlmist Complete, this is a free update, and you can get your account for the latest install.
A Classic Negative vs Classic Chrome Profile Review
Classic Negative – is a bit deeper and more intense. It has subdued colors but is more contrasty. It’s well-loved for streets for that reason, though usually, it’s not my favorite for portraits. Turn up the exposure a little on portraits to make it smoother.
Loosely based on Superia 200 and Classic Chrome is very loosely based on Kodachrome. I talked about that in this video.
Classic Chrome – is soft and gentle and sometimes you may need a bit more if your light is not contrasty. But it’s versatile.
While Classic Negative has an almost soft color look, classic Chrome is a bit brighter and more slide film-like, even though it’s not actually that close to the Kodachrome film it was inspired by.
Both produce great results and both can feel very natural. But if you look at these examples you can see how each has its own character. All these examples were done with the presets, which means camera type is not a barrier.
Film presets should be made with extensive testing to work well.
I do extensive homework for every film I make. In fact, making Gen.2 of these was hard because they were already good. I had to spend hours refining fine details in Lightroom and Capture One, and that’s the most tedious part.
When I shoot with Fuji cameras, I use both of these profiles. But in the post, I always take the RAW file and use the presets. Yes even before the built-in fuji-specific RAW profiles for better dynamic range and more accuracy.
It’s important that we can apply these looks to any file, any camera, old or new. Not just the latest model. Because when editing a project, you need consistency, not looks that are all over the map. If I shot part of a project on Fuji and another part on Sony or Canon, I want to be able to edit them with the same feel.
Presets make it easy and turn a recipe that requires dozens of hours to create into a single click. All while leaving you in control. By using presets on Raw instead of baked-in JPEGS, I get smoother highlight roll-off, I can increase or decrease the effect, and I can change my mind later.
Film presets solve a problem.
I made Filmist so we could better bring the darkroom to digital. Before, we had a limited number of films but a nearly infinite number of ways to develop them back in the day. Most are gone now. Today we have many ways to develop with a simple slider and while under-editing creates boring photos that lack atmosphere, over-driving a slider can take a great photo and make it bad instantly.
Film has an organic shadow-rich look. So Wwen you start editing with film presets you get more than just tinkering with sliders. Yes, you save time, but you try things and see things. Colors, shadows, various kinds of reds, and nuances can take a rather plain photo and make it seem like something from the pages of National Geographic. Color, Silver mix, and shadows matter.
You can see in just the Classic Negative and Classic Chrome looks that while the processes are not that intense, they are distinct and when you learn to make the destination or the nuances you become a better photographer and editor. Film makes that process a whole lot easier because it’s backed by hundreds of years of chemical processes and research into what makes our eyes respond to shadow and light.